Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review - First Day at Zoo School


First Day at Zoo School

Written and Illustrated by: Sarah Dillard
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-1585368907
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: August 2014

Oh, ho! School was going to start soon and Amanda panda was all excited, but Alfred alligator ... well, he was not. Mrs. Wattles had everything ready in her classroom and was ready for all her students to arrive. “I can’t wait! Can’t wait!” Amanda practically shouted as she danced around. In fact, she did shout. Alfred wasn’t so sure about the whole thing and paced back and forth. “Why do I have to go to school?” he thought. It was really a worrisome thing for Alfred. There were all kinds of students on the playground talking to their best friends when they arrived.

Amanda started to worry because a best friend was something she didn’t have. Amanda smiled and clapped her paws when she saw Alfred. Yes! He could be her best friend. “Gator” was soon her best friend and before long they were doing all kinds of things that Amanda liked. Amanda loved to sit in front of the class, but not Alfred (he was kind of shy). Amanda wanted Alfred to share his chocolate chip cookie (he wanted to eat the whole thing). Amanda wanted Alfred to be “it” when they played tag (he hated that). Alfred soon started to wonder if this best friend thing was for him. Was there something he could do about it?

This charming story about friendship will teach young children the value of a best friend. Of course Amanda meant well, but simply couldn’t see that Alfred didn’t necessarily like everything she did. No, that banana was not quite as good as that cookie and Alfred most certainly wasn’t quite as exuberant as Amanda. This tale will teach children about the give and take of friendships. It will be easy for them to see what’s going wrong with Amanda and Alfred’s friendship and think about their own. The artwork is quite appealing and it’s easy to read the emotions on Amanda and Alfred’s faces. This is the perfect book to introduce young children to friendship skills.

Quill says: This adorable story is perfect for the preschooler who is just about ready to "graduate" to kindergarten and wants to have that very special friend!